Mailbag Page 20
Should a Christian charge interest when loaning money?
Anonymous asks - Can a Christian be possessed by demons or the devil?
The Bible does NOT specifically say, "A Christian cannot be possessed by an evil spirit."
Neither does it say, "A Christian CAN be possessed by an evil spirit."
However, there are several verses that lead to only one possible conclusion...
Possession of a Christian by the devil is absolutely NOT allowed by God!
Your body is God's temple...
|Or do you not know that your
body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you
have from God, and you are not your own? For you
were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and
in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Cor 6.19-20
God has sealed you with His Holy Spirit. That seal does two jobs...
|In Him (Jesus) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise Eph 1.13
In the parable alongside, Jesus taught us that a demon is only able to enter (possess) a person who is spiritually EMPTY.
As is clearly shown by the verses quoted above...
us...) When an unclean spirit (a
demon) goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking
rest, and finds none.
Then he says, "I will return to my house from which I came."
And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation. Mt 12.43-45
As shown by the verses above, every Christian is indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
|You are of God, little children, and have overcome them (evil spirits),
because He (the Holy Spirit)
who is in you is greater than he (the
devil and his followers) who is in
1 John 4.4
As exemplified by the verse alongside, the Bible contains several warnings about the devil and unclean spirits.
|Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Pet 5.8
However, the devil can only put you on his lunch menu if you INVITE him to do so.
|But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Jam 1.14, KJV
With respect to a carnal Christian, it is ONLY the Christian's body that the devil can devour, NOT the Christian's spirit. To wit...
|In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Cor 5.4-5
As shown, the devil can't possess you. God won't allow it.
On the other hand, you are put on notice that the devil CAN use your own lusts (if you have them) as an entryway to devour your physical body.
So... how can a carnal Christian UN-invite the devil? For the answer, read the verses alongside. To wit...
|If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1.9
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Jam 4.7
|Now... how can a NON-carnal Christian ensure that he or she stays
ANSWER -- Take up (and keep wearing) the whole armor of God, as explained by the verses alongside.
|For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints Eph 6.12-18
No question - Christians CAN be oppressed by evil spirits, else the Bible's warnings would be unnecessary.
That is precisely why the Bible warns Christians that the devil is out to get them. It also gives you full instructions for self-defense.
Christians can be oppressed by the devil, but they CANNOT be possessed...
Catman asks - Does the Bible forbid a Christian to charge
|Bible Bell's Answer - Before you read our reply to Catman's question you should carefully read EVERY ONE of the Bible verses in the panels alongside..
|If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest. Ex 22.25
The verses quoted herein contain the main commands given in the Bible concerning charging interest.
The following is BibleBell's OPINION. Nothing more...
|And if one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among
you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. Take no usury or interest
from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. You shall not lend him your money for usury,
nor lend him your food at a profit. Lev 25.35-37
You shall not charge interest to your brother interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest. To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you shall not charge interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all to which you set your hand in the land which you are entering to possess. Deu 23.19-20
One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor. Prov 28.8
|In the parable Jesus told at Mt 25.14-30 (emphasis vss 27) He alluded to accepting interest on commercial loans. However, bear in mind that the Matthew passage IS a parable, not a doctrinal statement.
|`Therefore you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Mt 25.27
|In summary, the gist of the four quoted verses clearly show that Christians
are to show compassion to the poor and needy -- NOT use a neighbor's calamity as the chance to make a profit.
Concerning loans for other purposes, you should prayerfully meditate on the quoted verses, discuss them with God, and reach your own decision.
|A dissenting view
Scott writes -- You said all the verses you cited about charging interest were all to be in the context of looking after the needy and the poor.
For Deuteronomy 23:19 there is no such context anywhere to be found around that passage. It is clear that there is no interest to be charged by an Israelite to any other Israelite, and food was as much valid currency of the time as was money, so no arguement can be made for an association with the poor in that. Furthermore the distinction made between loans between two Israelites and loans between israelites and foreigners would both firmly place intention of the law within the context of trade and commerce.
In light of Deut 23:19 -- Christians can charge non-Christians interest, but "not each other" is an accurate interpretation of this Deuteronic law.
|You shall not charge interest to your brother interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest. To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you shall not charge interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all to which you set your hand in the land which you are entering to possess. Deu 23.19-20